On Thursday, virtual reality company HTC VIVE announced its new headset called the Vive Focus, which is aimed at enterprises.
It can be used for business collaboration, training and education, such as teaching medical students about sleep apnea, showing car designers how to fix and prototype a car, and conducting remote meetings in a 3D virtual space.
Although virtual reality is typically associated with consumers, such as for video gaming, the technology is increasingly being adopted for use in professional settings. VR and augmented reality are projected to grow to $162 billion by 2020, and more products are targeting enterprise use.
What makes this hardware significant is that it’s much simpler and more portable for customers to use, says Dan O’Brien, General Manager of the Americas at HTC VIVE (My note: so he said…). Other VR headsets that only developers may use might involve expensive hardware and require users to stay in one place.
VIVE Sync. This can be used to help employees collaborate with each other in a virtual space, especially when they work remotely. Each employee’s avatar can share ideas, show presentations, import images, show videos and more all in a 3D virtual space (My note: Second Life tried this; and failed; Do you have any NEW ideas, Dan?).
At WMU, the Libraries is partnering with our central OIT to host a VR lab in the main library. My partnering co-director, Kevin, is really the subject matter expert but I’m managing a lot of the day-to-day operations. Kevin is programming and experimenting with all kinds of hardware but we decided to use Oculus Rifts in our lab primarily because of the greater durability of the hand controllers (compared especially to the Vive). We’re getting all of our games through the Oculus store and have plans to expand into Steam or another provider but haven’t done so yet. We currently have 40+ titles available for gaming and educational purposes. We also teach content creation using Unity, Maya, Blender, and a handful of other tools.
Between the creation of a social rating system and street cameras with facial recognition capabilities, technology reports coming out of China have raised serious concerns for privacy advocates. These concerns are only heightened as Chinese investors turn their attention to the United States education technology space acquiring companies with millions of public school users.
A particularly notable deal this year centers on Edmodo, a cross between a social networking platform and a learning management system for schools that boasts having upwards of 90 million users. Net Dragon, a Chinese gaming company that is building a significant education division, bought Edmodo for a combination of cash and equity valued at $137.5 million earlier this month.
Edmodo began shifting to an advertising model last year, after years of struggling to generate revenue. This has left critics wondering why the Chinese firm chose to acquire Edmodo at such a price, some have gone as far as to call the move a data grab.
as data becomes a tool that governments such as Russia and China could use to influence voting systems or induce citizens into espionage, more legislators are turning their attention to the acquisitions of early-stage technology startups.
NetDragon officials, however, say they have no interest in these types of activities. Their main goal in acquiring United States edtech companies lies in building profitability, says Pep So, NetDragon’s Director of Corporate Development.
In 2015, the firm acquired the education technology platform, Promethean, a company that creates interactive displays for schools. NetDragon executives say that the Edmodo acquisition rounds out their education product portfolio—meaning the company will have tools for supporting multiple aspects of learning including; preparation, instructional delivery, homework, assignment grading, communication with parents students and teachers and a content marketplace.
NetDragon’s monetization plan for Edmodo focuses on building out content that gets sold via its platform. Similar to tools like TeachersPayTeachers, So hopes to see users putting up content on the platform’s marketplace, some free and others for a fee (including some virtual reality content), so that the community can buy, sell and review available educational tools.
As far as data privacy is concerned, So notes that NetDragon is still learning what it can and cannot do. He noted that the company will comply with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a federal regulation created in order to protect the privacy of children online, but says that the rules and regulations surrounding the law are confusing for all actors involved.
Historically, Chinese companies have faced trust and branding issues when moving into the United States market, and the reverse is also true for U.S. companies seeking to expand overseas. Companies have also struggled to learn the rules, regulations and operational procedures in place in other countries.
Blind Protocol, an alternate reality game created by two high school English teachers to help students understand online privacy and data security. This form of gaming blends fact and fiction to immerse players in an interactive world that responds to their decisions and actions. In a recent article on KQED, Paul Darvasi and John Fallon described how they chose the gaming format to help their students gain a deeper look at how vulnerable their personal data is.
College students’ perceptions of pleasure in learning – Designing gameful gamification in education
investigate behavioral and psychological metrics that could affect learner perceptions of technology
today’s learners spend extensive time and effort posting and commenting in social media and playing video games
Creating pleasurable learning experiences for learners can improve learner engagement.
uses game-design elements in non-gaming environments with the purpose of motivating users to behave in a certain direction (Deterding et al., 2011)
How can we facilitate the gamefulness of gamification?
Most gamified activities include three basic parts: “goal-focused activity, reward mechanisms, and progress tracking” (Glover, 2013, p. 2000).
gamification works similarly to the instructional methods in education – clear learning and teaching objectives, meaningful learning activities, and assessment methods that are aligned with the objectives
the design of seven game elements:
Storytelling: It provides the rules of the gamified activities. A good gamified activity should have a clear and simple storyboard to direct learners to achieve the goals. This game-design element works like the guidelines and directions of an instructional activity in class.
Levels: A gamified activity usually consists of different levels for learners to advance through. At each level, learners will face different challenges. These levels and challenges can be viewed as the specific learning objectives/competencies for learners to accomplish.
Points: Points pertain to the progress-tracking element because learners can gain points when they complete the quests.
Leaderboard: This element provides a reward mechanism that shows which learners are leading in the gamified activities. This element is very controversial when gamification is used in educational contexts because some empirical evidence shows that a leaderboard is effective only for users who are aggressive and hardcore players (Hamari, Koivisto, & Sarsa, 2014).
Badges: These serve as milestones to resemble the rewards that learners have achieved when they complete certain quests. This element works as the extrinsic motivation for learners (Kapp, 2012).
Feedback: A well-designed gamification interface should provide learners with timely feedback in order to help them to stay on the right track.
Progress: A progress-tracking bar should appear in the learner profile to remind learners of how many quests remain and how many quests they have completed.
Dominguez et al. (2013) suggested that gamification fosters high-order thinking, such as problem-solving skills, rather than factual knowledge. Critical thinking, which is commonly assessed in social science majors, is also a form of higher-order thinking.
Van der Heijdedn (2004) asserted that pleasurable experiences encouraged users to use the system for a longer period of time Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) has been integrated into the design of gamification and addressed the balance between learners’ extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
Ryan and Deci (2000) concluded that extrinsic rewards might suppress learners’ intrinsic motivation. Exploiting the playfulness and gamefulness in gamification, therefore, becomes extremely important, as it would employ the most effective approaches to engage learners.
Sweetser and Wyeth (2005) developed GameFlow as an evaluation model to measure player enjoyment in games
Fu, Su, and Yu (2009) adapted this scale to EGameFlow in order to measure college students’ enjoyment of e-learning games. EGameFlow is a multidimensional scale that consists of self-evaluated emotions.
Eppmann, Bekk, and Klein (2018) developed gameful experience scale (GAMEX) to measure gameful experiences for gamification contexts. one of the limitations of GAMEX to be used in education is that its effects on learning outcome has not been studied
the Big Five Model, which has been proposed as trait theory by McCrae & Costa (1989) and is widely accepted in the field, to measure the linkages between the game mechanics in gamification and the influences of different personality traits.
Storytelling in the subscale of Preferences for Instruction emphasizes the rules of the gamified learning environments, such as the syllabus of the course, the rubrics for the assignments, and the directions for tasks. Storytelling in the subscale of Preferences for Instructors’ Teaching Style focuses on the ways in which instructors present the content. For example, instructors could use multimedia resources to present their instructional materials. Storytelling in the subscale of Preferences for Learning Effectiveness emphasizes scaffolding materials for the learners, such as providing background information for newly introduced topics.
The effective use of badges would include three main elements: signifier, completion logic, and rewards (Hamari & Eranti, 2011). A useful badge needs clear goal-setting and prompt feedback. Therefore, badges correlate closely with the design of storytelling (rules) and feedback, which are the key game design elements in the subscale of Preferences for Instruction.
Students can use Google to search on their laptops or tablets in class when instructors introduce new concepts. By reading the reviews and viewing the numbers of “thumbs-up” (agreements by other users), students are able to select the best answers. Today’s learners also “tweet” on social media to share educational videos and news with their classmates and instructors. Well-designed gamified learning environments could increase pleasure in learning by allowing students to use familiar computing experiences in learning environments.
Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web
Countries all over the world are seeing significant increases in criminal activity through the use of technological tools. Such crimes as identity theft, cyberattacks, drug trafficking, and human trafficking are conducted through the deep and dark web, while social media is utilized by murderers, sex offenders, and pedophiles to elicit information and contact their victims. As criminals continue to harness technology to their advantage, law enforcement and government officials are left to devise alternative strategies to learn more about all aspects of these modern criminal patterns and behavior, to preserve the safety of society, and to ensure that proper justice is served. Regrettably, the lack of adequate research findings on these modern criminal activities is limiting everyone’s abilities to devise effective strategies and programs to combat these modern technology-related criminal activities.
In an effort to compile the most current research on this topic, a new major reference work titled Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web is currently being developed. This comprehensive Encyclopedia is projected to encompass expert insights about the nature of these criminal activities, how they are conducted, and societal and technological limitations. It will also explore new methods and processes for monitoring and regulating the use of these tools, such as social media, online forums, and online ads, as well as hidden areas of the internet including the deep and dark web. Additionally, this Encyclopedia seeks to offer strategies for predicting and preventing criminals from using technology as a means to track, stalk, and lure their victims.
You are cordially invited to share your research to be featured in this Encyclopedia by submitting a chapter proposal/abstract using the link on the formal call for papers page here. If your chapter proposal is accepted, guidelines for preparing your full chapter submission (which should be between 5,000-7,500 total words in length) can be accessed at: http://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/ (under the “For Authors” heading – “Encyclopedia Chapter Organization and Formatting”).
Recommended topics for papers include, but are not limited to:
Bitcoin and Crime
Botnets and Crime
Dark Web Vendors
Dating Websites and Crime
Fraud and Internet
Gaming and Crime
Government Regulations of the Dark Web
Hacking and Crime
International Regulations of the Dark Web
Internet Safety & Crime
Online Advertisement Websites and Crime
Online Forums and Crime
Online Hate Crimes
Social Media Deception
Social Networking Traps
Undercover Dark Web Busts
Virtual Currencies & Crime
IMPORTANT DATES: Chapter Proposal Submission Deadline: October 15, 2018; Full Chapters Due: December 15, 2018
Note: There are no publication fees, however, contributors will be requested to provide a courtesy to their fellow colleagues by serving as a peer reviewer for this project for at least 2-3 articles. This will ensure the highest level of integrity and quality for the publication.
Purpose Games is a free service for creating and or playing simple educational games. The service currently gives users the ability to create seven types of games. Those game types are image quizzes, text quizzes, matching games, fill-in-the-blank games, multiple choice games, shape games, and slide games.
Session Title: Measuring Learning Outcomes of New Library Initiatives Coordinator: Professor Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS, St. Cloud State University, USA Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Scope & rationale: The advent of new technologies, such as virtual/augmented/mixed reality, and new pedagogical concepts, such as gaming and gamification, steers academic libraries in uncharted territories. There is not yet sufficiently compiled research and, respectively, proof to justify financial and workforce investment in such endeavors. On the other hand, dwindling resources for education presses administration to demand justification for new endeavors. As it has been established already, technology does not teach; teachers do; a growing body of literature questions the impact of educational technology on educational outcomes. This session seeks to bring together presentations and discussion, both qualitative and quantitative research, related to new pedagogical and technological endeavors in academic libraries as part of education on campus. By experimenting with new technologies such as Video 360 degrees and new pedagogical approaches such as gaming and gamification, does the library improve learning? By experimenting with new technologies and pedagogical approaches, does the library help campus faculty to adopt these methods and improve their teaching? How can results be measured, demonstrated?
In April, a PLAYlive Nation lounge in Tracy, Calif., hosted its first Fortnite tournament and sold out. Hundreds of players bought tickets to play against one another and win prizes.
Joost van Dreunen, the CEO of Superdata Research, a video game analytics firm, says most shooter games are serious and simulate violence. Fortnite, he says, is more like a friendly game of tag.
His company estimates the game has made about $223 million across all platforms in March alone. In lifetime sales, it had made about $614 million. The game is free to play, but Epic Games, the company that owns Fortnite, makes money through microtransactions. Players can spend real money to make cosmetic changes to their characters in the game. They can buy things like skins, which are like costumes, for their characters or emotes, which are celebratory dance moves their characters can do after winning or killing another player in the game.
Ninja, the gamer name taken by 26-year-old Tyler Blevins, is now a legend in the Fortnite world. He is a master at the game and rocketed into popularity after playing in an online battle with rap artists Drake and Travis Scott on March 14. That battle has been watched more than 9 million times.
Educators Battle ‘Fortnite’ for Students’ Attention
Many educators want to ban the game from their classrooms, but some are taking the opposite approach, attempting to weave students’ interest in Fortnite into class discussions and assignments.
Nick Fisher, a science teacher at Fort Zumwalt North High School in O’Fallon, Mo., said his students like to take screenshots of gameplay and send them to friends over Snapchat. Teenagers want to broadcast their victories, and because the game is on their phones, it’s easy to post updates to social media, making Fortnite “the perfect concoction of addiction,” said Fisher.
North High blocks all social media and gaming sites on its WiFi, said Fisher, but students tell him how they circumvent the restriction: They use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to establish independent internet connections. (Dozens of YouTube videos provide step-by-step tutorials for students looking to get around school WiFi controls.)
“Kids can’t multitask,” she said. “Even having a digital device within sight can cognitively distract the student enough that they can’t focus on the academics.”
Schools and teachers should be guiding parents when it comes to appropriate limits around screen time, said Kolb. Most parents will appreciate research-based recommendations, such as turning off all screens a set amount of time before bed, she said.
Games like Fortnite can even have social benefits, said John Velez, an assistant professor of journalism and electronic media at Texas Tech University. Velez, who studies the positive effects of video games, has found that playing violent games cooperatively with helpful teammates promotes pro-social behavior.
Chris Aviles, the coordinator of innovation, technology, and 21st century skills for the Fair Haven Public Schools in New Jersey, wrote “A Teacher’s Guide to Surviving Fortnite,” an exploration of ways the game can be used for instructional purposes. The guide, posted to his blog Teched Up Teacher, suggests how to integrate the game into writing prompts, math lessons on probability, and physics.
Aviles doesn’t advocate playing the game at school. There isn’t any educational value in letting students engage in virtual combat during a lesson, he said. Instead, teachers can build a lesson around one aspect of the game, such as having students calculate the best angle of approach as they jump from the “Battle Bus,” the floating bus that drops players onto the map at the beginning of each match.
Instagram, Snapchat, Fortnite: The distractions are endless. Here’s how to help kids cope.
In January, two of Apple’s shareholder groups asked the company to look at the addictive effects of iPhones on children. Google’s recent developer conference highlighted tools to help users better control smartphone usage.
A 2015 survey of more than 1,800 teachers and 400 principals in Alberta, B.C., found that nearly three-fourths of teachers frequently or very frequently observed students multitasking with technology, and 67 percent of teachers believed that the number of students negatively distracted by digital technologies in the classroom was growing.
The best approach is to use empathy, compassion and collaboration to help the young people in your life find ways to manage their digital workflow.
Encourage visualization for inspiration and motivation. The first step is getting students to buy in and to want to make behavioral changes.
Focus on compartmentalization. A 2009 study from Stanford researchers found that people who juggled several streams of electronic information were not able to pay attention, remember key information or switch tasks as effectively as those who completed one task at a time.
Using the Pomodoro technique of spending 25 minutes focused on one task followed by a five-minute break can be an easy way to have students begin to shift from a multitasking to a monotasking mind-set.
Make focus fun. There are now numerous ways to use technology to help us be more productive with technology, and it doesn’t have to be arduous. Students in my office use apps such as Forest or Flipd to motivate them to stay off their phones during class or when doing homework. Forest has a simple interface that will build a digital tree for users who stay off their phones. Flipd allows users to hide certain apps, allot time off their phone based on their schedule and, for a premium, track their progress over time.
Provide structured support as needed. A middle school student with whom I worked recently was relieved when his mother used the Mac OS app SelfControl to block YouTube and ESPN while he was doing his homework (Cold Turkey is a similar PC-based app).
Allow opportunities for regrouping. Even the best plans can go awry (for adults and kids alike). It’s important to focus on progress rather than perfection. Create time daily or weekly for students to think about what went well in terms of managing distractions and improving productivity, and what they would like to do better. Ask open-ended questions without judgment or expectation